Last night, I played a few of Dan's songs for my friend Ann.

There was one in particular I'd written for her that he wrote an amazing piano part to that made the whole song so much prettier- it was called Ann. She had never heard his version. He really wanted me to record the song so he'd laid down the piano track for it and I found it on his computer and sang along softly for her.

For the most part of two days, we'd cleaned together and attended to practical matters. But as she listened to the striking chords he chose for her song, her eyes welled up with tears, and she just looked at me, crying and said, "What a loss, Julia. What a loss."

Of course Dan was so much more than his music, but I think I feel the loss, not just to me, but to the world, when I sit and listen to his playing now. Music had become such a point of tension in our marriage that it had been a while since I appreciated the magnitude of his natural gifting.

In a strange symbolism, I've had no problem wasting things the last few weeks. It feels somehow just and right to throw something out - food, belongings. As I toss a container of old rice into the garbage and hear the heavy thud, I feel a tinge of satisfaction. "What a waste. It is such a waste."